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Pernod Ricard’s Mukherjee Sees Further U.S. Growth Ahead

May 11, 2022

Pernod Ricard North America chairman and CEO Ann Mukherjee sees spirits growth remaining strong in the months ahead, with the company primed for further gains in upscale whiskey, Tequila, and Cognac, among other key market segments. Updating analysts on the drinks giant’s North America business yesterday, Mukherjee said Pernod is adjusting strategies to combat inflation, flagged continued supply chain disruption, and said the group is planning for the potential rise of new Covid variants.

But with all the challenges, growth continues to accelerate, with Pernod’s sales recently topping $2 billion in the U.S for the first time, and posting a 13% increase over the nine months through March. “Premiumization continues to drive the marketplace, and consumers are still enjoying cocktails at home,” said Mukherjee. “They’re choosing quality brands for those occasions.” Pernod’s Jameson, Malibu, Kahlua, Jefferson’s, Martell, and Redbreast are all beating their categories in NABCA in the fiscal year to date, she added.

Looking ahead, Mukherjee said she expects spirits growth to normalize compared with the previous two years but to remain strong. Spirits-based RTDs remain a significant growth driver, with Jameson set to enter the category. “Spirit-based RTDs now account for 5% of total spirits in the U.S. and they’re doubling as a category,” noted Mukherjee. “For Pernod Ricard they’re a crucial strategy for driving incremental, consumer-centric portfolio growth.”

While the off-premise has remained elevated, consumers are also avidly returning to the on-premise, Mukherjee said, with Jameson benefiting from the shift. “We’re doubling down our efforts on-premise, a space where our portfolio has always overindexed,” she said, noting that California and New York have driven a strong on-premise bounceback.

Innovation will continue to be a key focus for Pernod. Mukherjee highlighted recent launches like Avion Cristalino and Jefferson’s Ocean Rye, as well as further expansion in RTDs from Malibu and Jameson. Meanwhile, Jameson Orange has so far been Pernod’s most successful innovation in five years, she said.

Moving forward, Mukherjee said Pernod is “shifting to a demand mindset that meets the ever-changing needs of today’s consumers. They want the right brand for the right occasion.” The company is testing new sales and marketing tools like D-Star and Matrix that offer predictive capability and have already shown promise in funneling marketing dollars to the best channels and sharpening focus on key sales accounts for specific offerings.—Daniel Marsteller

Pernod Ricard—Key Brands in the U.S.
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Brand Origin/Type 2020 2021 Percent
Change1
Spirits
Jameson Irish Whiskey 3,564 4,059 13.9%
Absolut2 Imported Vodka 3,129 3,194 2.1%
Malibu2 Imported Rum 2,715 2,979 9.7%
Kahlua Liqueur 914 938 2.7%
The Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch 468 527 12.5%
Beefeater Imported Gin 429 429 -0.2%
Olmeca Altos Tequila 359 339 -5.6%
Absolut Cans Pre-mixed Cocktail 147 297 102.9%
Chivas Regal Blended Scotch 255 257 0.7%
Martell Cognac 173 230 32.4%
Total Leading Spirits4 12,153 13,248 9.0%
Wine
Mumm Napa California 375 410 9.2%
Campo Viejo3 Spain 373 401 7.5%
Jacob’s Creek Australia 397 361 -9.0%
Kenwood California 235 225 -4.1%
Total Leading Wine 1,380 1,397 1.2%
Based on unrounded data.
Includes flavors; excludes pre-mixed cocktails
Includes still wine and Cava.
4 Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2022
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